Learn how great marketers use data to prove themselves wrong
Whether you realize it or not, you have likely been using the Scientific Method since the fifth grade, and there is no better way to make your email better. When applied to your email program, the Scientific Method may look a little something like this:
ASK A QUESTION:How can I improve my key email marketing metric(s)?
GATHER DATA:Review metrics from previously sent campaigns, if available. Make observations from campaigns sent most recently. Identify trends specific to your key metric(s). Document high and low levels for key metric(s).
FORM A HYPOTHESIS:Develop a general theory about how slight modifications to your messages, design, cadence, or program will lead to improved results. Also, speculate about what you can expect if no changes are made.
DO AN EXPERIMENT:Choose one element to alter according to your hypothesis and test it against your audience. More on this later.
ANALYZE YOUR RESULTS:Review mailing response metrics and test results. Determine if your hypothesis was true or false.
REPORT RESULTS:Collect and document test experiment results to inform future campaigns and hypotheses.
While the Scientific Method offers us a simple recipe that is easy to follow, it also requires quality ingredients. Poor or limited data can lead to shoddy decision-making and lackluster results. We all want to generate big results as fast as possible, but give your program the necessary time and space (e.g. three to four campaigns with minimal alterations) to form a recognizable trend that demands attention.
When using this Scientific Method, make sure you write down your hypotheses (C, above). This helps you keep a specific focus on what you think will work. For example: “I believe that sending this email at 4pm will improve open rates by 20% in comparison to my current send time of 11am.”
“Good marketers use data to prove themselves right.
Great marketers use data to prove themselves wrong.”
My friend Tom Webster – he’s a professional market researcher and analyst – says: “Good marketers use data to prove themselves right. Great marketers use data to prove themselves wrong.” I want this on a poster.
This is an excerpt from, "The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Improving Your Email Results," a piece put together by our friend (and industry thought leader) Jay Baer.
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.
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